Just about any self-professed tulle aficionado will love silk tulle. What’s not to love? Most silk tulle fabric is light as a cloud, ultra-soft, and has the most beautiful lustre— unmatched by any synthetic, man-made fibre tulle. It’s truly a confection that designers like me dream of working with, but the truth is it’s not always the best fit for wedding veils; well, in my humble opinion anyway.
When a Silk Tulle Veil is a Good Option
Let’s start with the positive and unpack a few good reasons to say “Yes” to a silk tulle wedding veil.
Silk tulle is very light and drapey. It’s a beautiful choice for a draped, back cowl veil, or a boho style Juliet veil à la Kate Moss. The nice thing is it will hang quite straight from hair accessories and sit close to the body.
Shown above is our Alyssia Juliet Veil in illusion. It sits away from the body and gently frames the shoulders. If we made this veil in silk tulle, it would drape much straighter, behind the shoulders, and barely show from the front.
I recently read with amusement on one designer’s website— who misrepresents their polyamide tulle veils as “silk”-- that the silk tulle they use “falls away from your dress.” The fact is silk tulle has the opposite effect and tends to cling. Just think of Kate Middleton’s wedding and the images of her blusher veil pulled over her head and clinging to her face.
For a 1920’s vibe, drapey, fluid effect, silk tulle is a great choice. I love it paired with a more minimal gown, something equally elegant like Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s gown. It’s got more body and texture than chiffon or georgette, but creates a similar vibe.
Silk tulle also makes a pretty, short, flutter cut or circular veil- again, it will fall very straight, but it can add a lovely, luxe touch to a garden wedding ensemble.
Want to add tulle “wings” to your dress? Silk tulle is a good option for that as well, but remember they will fall in a very columnar way and won’t fan out like synthetic tulle. Also, be aware that silk tulle is very delicate and snags easily so it’s not a good bet to drape against a heavily beaded, more textural gown, or to have trailing on the ground when walking over rough surfaces.
When a Silk Tulle Veil is Second Best
So now, let’s talk about why despite my love of silk tulle, I’m not often a fan of creating silk tulle wedding veils.
Most quality, designer veils are made with fine bridal illusion tulle. It’s a myth that most veils are made of polyester. While polyester and nylon are closely related, polyester net is not as light and sheer as illusion tulle and is more commonly used for gowns and dresses. Though it’s possible to find veils made with polyester, most better quality veils are made out of finer bridal fabrics such as nylon or polyamide illusion tulle.
Though very light and sheer, illusion tulle is a man-made fibre that has more memory than silk so it holds it’s shape. That’s the number one reason I usually prefer synthetic tulle to silk for a wedding veil. While veils don’t need to be poufy and over-done, the extra body of synthetic tulle helps the veil sit away from your dress a bit more, while still having a light, ethereal quality.
My all time favourite tulle is our signature Mirage Tulle, a very sheer, soft, lightweight fabric with a glamorous sparkle effect and slight lustre reminiscent of silk tulle. It’s not as crunchy as nylon illusion tulle, but has just that extra touch of body, making it a real winner for veils!
Width is another important factor when choosing a veil fabric. Most silk tulle on the market ranges from approximately 58 to 72 inches wide and is perfect if you're looking for a long, linear style such as a cathedral veil to go against a narrow dress. However, if you’re looking for a veil to go with a fuller ball gown, most veils are 90 to 108 inches wide. Even if you could find silk tulle this wide, remember, it has no “memory” and likes to cling- so it will fold into itself instead of floating over a nice train.
In addition to width, sheerness is something you’ll want to consider. Though silk tulle has that beautiful, buttery lustre, it’s actually not as sheer as fine bridal illusion tulle, or my favourite Mirage Tulle. This isn’t necessarily a negative, but it’s something to note if you intend to wear a blusher veil over your face), or if you’re concerned about concealing the beautiful details of your chosen wedding dress.
Over my 20 plus years designing veils, one of the most common concerns brides have about choosing a veil is “it will cover up the details of my dress.” Disclaimer here, the main reason a veil hides a dress is that it’s poorly cut. However, making the veil out of a more opaque fabric to start with doesn’t help!
Aside from the sheerness factor, keep the cling in mind when it comes to silk tulle. If you intend to wear a blusher veil, it will tend to stick to your lipstick and eyelashes unless your headpiece is designed to set the veil out and away from your face and is worn forward and high on the head.
Silk Tulle VS Nylon Tulle Veils
Let me reiterate: I LOVE silk tulle. This blog may make it sound like I’m not a fan but that’s simply not the case. I just often find there’s a better choice of tulle for a wedding veil.
Don't get distracted by the allure of luxury, or what appears to be "better." As a wedding veil designer and owner of Laura Jayne, my expert advice is to always choose the best option for the occasion-- for where, how and what it's being worn with.
My top tip to brides who want to learn how to choose a wedding veil is to start with the shape of your dress. Consider the silhouette of your ensemble, and as with any look, choose your bridal accessories— veil, headpieces, jewelry, shoes, sashes and belts— to balance it out.
Think back to the last time you wore your “LBD" or little black dress and how you accessorized it. The heel you chose to wear depended on the silhouette of the skirt and where it hit your leg. The perfect jewelry – length and proportion of a necklace or earrings – relates to your facial shape and neckline.
Veils are the same. It’s all about proportion, line, and the overall effect you want to achieve with your look. Just as with designing a dress, the first focus is the silhouette and fit, not the fabric. The same is true for a bridal veil.
First, consider the effect and silhouette you want to complement your gown. The right one will accentuate everything you love about your dream wedding dress - and amplify it even more. Once you've nailed the right shape for your veil, all the other elements - length, embellishment (or not), and even fabric - all fall into place.
So now, you know the whole truth about tulle. I hope you find this helpful as you consider a veil for yourself. Before you do, I’ll leave you with this last, most important truth, learned from helping brides find their perfect veil for over two decades: veils are an emotion. When you find the right one, you can feel it, you will know it, and you won’t even think about what it’s made of - I promise!
At Laura Jayne, we take pride in helping brides around the world find their perfect veil. While we offer a small stock of lovely Italian quality silk tulle in studio for custom designs, our collection features a large selection of luxury tulles and nets, including:
• Top quality nylon illusion tulle
• Our signature Mirage Tulle
• Gorgeous European Luxe Tulle (marketed as "silk" by some designers)
• French silky tulle (mimics silk but has a bit more body and is less costly)
• New! Shimmery Tulle Voile
• And many more niche, fancy tulles
We're here to help you style your dream dress with a veil that’s just right for you!
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